By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Operatives of Edo State Police Command on Saturday rescued two siblings, David Ibe ‘M’ (4 years) and Chizaram Ibe ‘F’ (2 years) suspected to have been kidnapped in Lagos State, on 23 August, 2021.
The operatives also arrested three suspects, Precious Mmaduike ‘F’ (21), Jane Osas ‘F’ (35) and John Obasu (45), in connection with the Abduction of the children.
The victims were said to be children of one Mr. Phenasus Ibe, of No. 31 Balogun Kuku Street, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos State.
According to a statement by the image maker of the Command, SP Kontongs Bello, the abduction was planned and executed by their housemaid, Precious Mmaduike, who allegedly used her familiarity with the children to take them away from their parents in Lagos to Benin City, Edo State.
It was gathered that on the fateful day, at about 8.45 am, mother of the children, Mrs. Ibe, gave them the sum of N500, to buy biscuit outside the compound in Lagos, in company of the house maid.
They however waited endlessly for them to return, but they did not return.
All subsequent efforts in search of the children and the house maid proved abortive, as her phone was switched off.
“That was when the father immediately reported the situation to Aguda Police Station, Lagos, where it was discovered that the last location of the house maid before she switched off her mobile was in Benin city, Edo state.
“The complainant decided to come to the police in Edo state for assistance.
“Men of the Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime Unit of Edo State Police Command immediately commenced investigation.
“With the aid of the information gathered from the origin of the abduction and field assets, the abducted children were rescued on 26/08/2021, at about 1730hrs by the operatives of the Edo State Police Command, Benin City, in a very remote area at Upper Ekewan Road, Benin City with the house maid and a woman she came to visit with the children.
The house maid who met the woman on the internet claimed that, the two children belonged to her and they came to Benin city for visit, but unknown to the woman that the children are not hers.
The woman had bought gift items and other properties for the children and are currently with the police,” the statement said.
It was however gathered that while the police operatives were on their way to the State Command in Benin city with the rescued children, the suspects and two other children found in the house, the husband of the woman, one Joseph Obaze, raised alarm of kidnapping against the police operatives.
The alarm attracted a group of “unknown vigilante” members who blocked the road.
Even after the Police operatives identified themselves, the “unknown vigilante” group reportedly went ahead to attack the police operatives with all kinds of weapons, causing bodily injuries to some policemen.
The hoodlums later escaped before police reinforcement could arrive at the scene.
The State Commissioner of Police, CP Philip Aliyu Ogbadu, assured that efforts are in place to apprehend the fleeing vigilante leader and his gang members that attacked the police operatives
He enjoins all law abiding members of the public to go about their lawful businesses, noting that the Command will not allow miscreants in the name of vigilante group to take over the public space.
Ogbadu enjoined the public to continue to provide useful information to the police about criminals and their activities, to help them achieve the mandate of protecting lives and properties.